Caracas: President Hugo Chavez, who was
diagnosed with cancer in June and later underwent surgery and chemotherapy, said that a new checkup had made him "upbeat"
about his recovery.
Chavez, who is seeking reelection next year, was hit with
criticism from opposition members during his illness for not
releasing full details of his ailment sooner, and for first
seeking treatment in key ally Cuba.
The results "make me feel really strong ... and upbeat
about my recovery and my disciplined behavior in recovery,"
said Chavez, naming details such as his recent hemoglobin and
leukocyte counts from a blood test.
"I am still pushing myself to move forward and to heal
fully. I feel healthy, and I am healthy," said Chavez, in a
phone-in interview with a local network.
Referring to his blood test results, he said: "all of
those are within normal ranges. Recovery is good. .... I am
thankful to God, and to modern medicine."
The president downplayed rumors that his health was worsening, and even went for a 40-minute jog yesterday.
The 57-year-old Chavez has never disclosed the type or
severity of the cancer that Cuban doctors discovered in June.
After surgery and four rounds of chemotherapy -- three of them
in Havana -- he announced last month that he was cancer-free.
Skeptics have scoffed at the claim, but in recent days
Chavez has outwardly displayed more of the same frenetic
energy that has been his trademark since he swept into power
Chavez, who once said he hoped to govern Venezuela through
2030, is focusing on helping the country`s poor as he seeks a
third six-year term of office in next year`s presidential